River valley: Temporary pump installed, only treated sewage being discharged into Fraser River

Pump is a temporary measure to bypass a ruptured sewer pipe

Only treated sewage is now being discharged into the Fraser River after a crews successfully installed a pump in the Williams Lake river valley Wednesday afternoon.

A temporary bridge went in Tuesday night to gain access to the sewage treatment lagoons where crews installed a temporary pump to stop the flow of partially treated effluent into the river.

Read more: River valley crews to install temporary bridge to access grit removal building

The City’s director of municipal services Gary Muraca said the pump is a temporary measure to bypass a ruptured sewer pipe that had resulted from high water flows in the last two weeks.

The pump means partially treated sewage flowing from the ruptured pipe is now being diverted into a third cell for treatment before it is released.

“This temporary bypass has bought us some time as we work toward repairing the ruptured pipe,” Muraca said. “It’s important to recognize the relentless efforts of Peterson Contracting and True Engineering, who worked many late nights to get this temporary fix in place.”

Read more: VIDEO: Aerial tour of flooding in Williams Lake area

Contractors continued to rebuild roads and shoring up the sewage lagoons with rock and riprap to gain access where many roads and bridges were washed out or made impassable.

Crews now hope to gain access to the ruptured pipe to begin repairs.

As advised last week, residents are asked to continue minimizing their water use, if possible, to reduce the flows into the sewage treatment facility.

Limiting baths or laundry, or using the dishwasher every second or third day, or not flushing the toilet as often will all help.

“We appreciate all the efforts residents have made and are asking them to hang on just a little longer until we can get a permanent fix in place,” Muraca said.

The evacuation order for 11 industrial properties on Frizzi Road and an evacuation alert for the Green Acres Mobile Home Park remain in effect.

Read more: Editorial: Flooding history in Williams Lake area


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Crews have successfully installed a temporary pump in the river valley Wednesday, May 6, which means only treated sewage is now being discharged. This photo was taken April 28, 2020. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

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